This was 3 day, 2 night trip into Cataract - Cline Pass area of White Goat Wilderness I heard so much about and wanted to visit for a long time. Area is remote & day trips are not really feasible. I dislike pacman style of backpacking & prefer to setup "base camp" whenever possible, then go exploring with luxury of light pack without worrying of setting up / breaking camps every day. Below Cataract Pass is well known wild bivi spot that served well for this purpose. First night there were 4 or 5 other parties camping but on second night I was on my own. I had no specific plan; only must was view into "Valley of the Lakes". Bomber bluebird 3 days and only thing that was not perfect were mosquitoes (surprisingly none at Cline pass, which is generally more swampy). Day by Day breakdown:
- Day 1) Hike in via Nigel Pass -- Cataract Pass to bivi spot; setup camp
- Day 2) Aimless wondering in exceptional alpine area. Went skinny dipping in second Cline tarn, then scrambled awkward slope to col above Valley of the Lakes & scouted several more routes for next visits
- Day 3) Hiked out back via Cataract Pass, abandoning loop return partially for fear of high waters / unknown Brazeau ford, partially to enjoy insanely beautiful Cataract Pass / Brazeau canyon again, this time in mid-morning light
[Exceptional scenery of lower Brazeau canyon on day 3]
[Large glacially fed lake below Cataract Pass and Source of Brazeau River]
[Life sucks! Home sweet home for 2 nights. Cataract Pass upper center and there was fairly steep unavoidable snow slope leading to it]
[Second Cline Tarn, with long ridge of Mt. Willis upper right on Day 2. No mosquitoes. Went skinny dipping on return from Afternoon Lakes col]
[Fabled "Valley of the Lakes" or "Afternoon Lakes" from the col reached by steep scramble from Cline Pass]
[Descending back from Cline Pass to bivi below Cataract Pass on Day 2. There is also trail below that formidable mountain range leading to Pinto Lake; someone came up from there in the morning]
[Wolverine! There were 5 of them playing & I had luxury of watching them for good 15-20 seconds before they noticed me & scampered away]
Sometimes areas you hear about so much end up disappointing simply because expectations become too high. Not this time; it is worth every bit & I will be coming back for sure.
Will post more details with photos for each day in next couple of days.